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Chapter 2. Stage Fright > Use It! - Pg. 16

Stage Fright 16 Your test run can be more real than this, too. Deliver the speech by yourself in front of a mirror. As you speak, make eye contact with the "audience" by looking into the mirror. See which facial ex- pressions and gestures work best. You can also take a test run in front of a real audience. Gather some friends or relatives who didn't run fast enough to elude your entreaties. Deliver the speech for them and then solicit their opinions. Ask them to be honest (but not brutally so) and weigh their comments. Be sure to practice the entire speech all the way through--don't just practice the beginning or ending. If you make a mistake while practicing, don't go back and start all over again. Just keep on going, because that's what you'd have to do during the real speech. Use It! Still scared? Realize that a certain degree of nervousness can actually make you a better speaker by sharpening your edge. The Least You Need to Know · Virtually every public speaker suffers from stage fright; it's a normal reaction to a stressful situation. · Recognize that the audience is on your side. · You can learn specific techniques to make stage fright work for you instead of against you. · Practice makes perfect.